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Since 1 November 2021, holders of a residence permit on the basis of the Settlement of the Former Aliens Act Estate Scheme (RANOV) do not have to provide a passport or birth certificate when filing a naturalization request. If there is reasonable doubt about the alleged identity and nationality of the RANOV permit holder, the naturalization request may still be rejected. Similarly, if there is doubt about the alleged identity and nationality of a parent, the naturalization request of the now adult child may be rejected.

 On 31 October 2022, State Secretary of Justice and Security announced a policy change based on a memorandum from the Directorate General of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).

 The Directorate General advised the Secretary of State to introduce a policy change for those individuals who obtained RANOV permits as minors and where there is doubt about the alleged identity and/or nationality of their parent(s). The rejections of these naturalization requests are a sensitive subject because the policy change of 1 November 2021 was introduced to give RANOV permit holders the perspective of becoming Dutch citizens. The memorandum indicates that the IND struggled with these rejections because the feeling prevailed "that it is disproportionate to forever deny the perspective of naturalization to adult children who are now rooted in the Netherlands while they themselves are not to blame for the doubts that have arisen about their identity."

 The IND proposes that naturalization requests of RANOV permit holders should not be rejected, if they received a residence permit as a minor and there is doubt about the identity or nationality of their parent(s). This policy change would also apply to applicants for Dutch citizenship with another type of residence permit where there is reasonable doubt about the identity and/or nationality of the parent(s). This proposal does not apply to children of RANOV permit holders who are currently minors, but these children may benefit from this policy change once they turn 18 years of age when they submit an independent naturalization request.

 Following the IND's advice, the State Secretary will amend the Handbook for the Application of the Dutch Nationality Act as of 1 January 2023. Until the implementation of the policy change, no decisions will be made on naturalization requests from individuals who are subject to the policy change on or after this date.

 Everaert Advocaten welcomes this policy change as it will finally enable a large group of RANOV permit holders who grew up in the Netherlands to participate in Dutch society as full-fledged Dutch citizens.


Are you not in possession of a birth certificate and/or passport and want to know what your options are for becoming a Dutch citizen? Or do you have other questions about naturalization? Then contact Elles Besselsen or Danielle Snaathorst.

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